Predictably, the shelling of a UN-run school in Gaza where civilians were being sheltered has become the overwhelming focus of the world body. Inasmuch, the incident lays bare the double standards of the international community.
“Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after 16 people were killed in the school. “I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.”
Actually, there are several things more shameful.
Violating the Fourth Geneva Convention by using a school as cover for attacks on Israel is more shameful (rockets had been fired at Israel from next to the school in question);
Housing civilians in a UN school after not one, not two, but three similar schools were found to be used as Hamas weapons depots is more shameful (UN facilities had clearly been compromised by that point); and
Accusing Israel of violating international law when, in fact, Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically states that “the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations” is more shameful.
One must also wonder why this incident is worthy of such public and repeated condemnation, while errant missile strikes a day earlier that killed 10 at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital and a children’s playground in a nearby suburb were barely mentioned beyond initial reports.
Of course, one need not wonder very long, for the answer is clear. The first was the outcome of Israeli military action, while the second involved the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Arabs killing Arabs simply doesn’t interest the UN to any great degree (see Iraq and Syria). Arabs dying at the hands of Jews, however, well, that’s clearly not the natural order of things.
Or how about the fact that the three Israeli soldiers killed in action on Wednesday died in a booby-trapped clinic upon which someone had plastered the UNRWA logo? Is it now acceptable to use UN symbols to protect weapons of war? Because Ban sure had nothing to say about it.
Last, but not least, the exaggerated focus on Gaza by the international community, led by the UN, while far more severe conflicts are raging just next door, is very telling.
Everyone likes to harp on what they say is the lack of “proportionality” in Israel’s military response. But, given the world’s obsession with Israel, while Syria and Iraq burn and Hamas routinely violates the rules of war, I am reminded of the immortal words of Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”